5 Bad and 5 Good Reasons to Expand Your Family

"Should I get my cat another cat?" a friend of mine asked me today. "I worry that he's bored." That question, and this weekend's upcoming Sliding Into Home event at the Washington Humane Society, has me thinking about when, how and why we expand our (animal) families, and when, how and why we should. 5 Bad Reasons: Some of these reasons can be fine as a secondary reason to get a new pet, but they fall short as a primary reason. Fluffy (or Fido) wants a friend. Let's start with the idea that began this post. Sure, it's easier to add a new pet to your home if your existing pet(s) get along well with others. However, new pets add new (and often unforeseen) complications to relationships between both pets and people. You need to be ready to deal with these changes, as well as the training, medical and emotional needs of your new pet. It'll teach the kids responsibility. Would you trust...
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“Are we there yet?”

"I'm bored." "There's nothing to do." You don't have to be a parent to be able to conjure up the sound of that childish whine. In fact, if you cast your mind back, you might even be guilty of having said something similar in your childhood - or more recently. Unfortunately, boredom often leads to trouble-making, in both both kids and pets. It's not that anyone intends harm, its simply that your pet's idea of a good way to pass the time may not closely match yours. When the weather gets nice in springtime, there is nothing I would like more than to spend all my time walking my dog and playing with my cat. Unfortunately, springtime also means finals time, which eats up a lot of that theoretical pet exercise time. It doesn't help that days that I do have time always seem to be the springtime shower days. However, just because your short on time doesn't mean you can...
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Bittersweet Beginnings

The opening of Next Best Pet is an exciting time. It is the culmination of several years of planning and study. But the timing is bittersweet. The name Next Best Pet signifies two things. The first is my firm belief that, with effort and proper support, we can make our companion animals the best pets - not in the world, but for our families. (This is NOT a guarantee of results - often helping our companions become the best pets involves adjusting our own expectations.) The other day, a friend asked me, "Do you think I can be successful with my new puppy?" My answer? "Of course!" There is no way to promise she will end up with a dog that is exactly what she envisions right now, but I believe that, with sufficient effort and support, she can have a wonderful companion for her family for years to come. Bailey in 2011 The second and more private meaning of the name Next...
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